Hopscotch Music Festival Featuring: Pissed Jeans
Cy Dune, The Everymen, Richard Bacchus
224 S. Blount
Raleigh, NC, 27601
Watch & Listen
The Straight World is a shallow, boring, soul-sucking vortex. This is where most folks spend their quiet, desperate lives. Working to consume, consuming to achieve status. Distractions like celebrity watching and religion are supposed to provide entertainment and meaning. Here, life on the edge means driving a Ford. It's nearly impossible for those of us who despise the Straight World to avoid it. Many of us spend 8 hours a day there just to survive. The Straight World doesn't take kindly to aberrance. That's why some of us would rather not reveal ourselves. We move like shadows through the Straight World, keeping our secrets. We don't need smoke to make ourselves disappear.
Matt Korvette has a secret. He's a mild-mannered claims adjuster by day, up to his white collar in the Straight World. But as soon as he clocks out, he rips off his shirt revealing the sweaty, loose-limbed punk fronting the Pissed Jeans. No one at the insurance company has a clue. At 25 he's been playing in bands for over half his life, mostly with guitarist Bradley Fry. Bradley's got a secret too. The folks in Account Management have no idea that he's the solid-statesman of Pissed Jeans renown, the one behind those brutal, beautiful feedback-drenched riffs. Matt and Brad grew up with bassist Dave Rosenstraus in the all-ages scene which coalesced around the Allentown, PA free-for-all fun-space, Jeff the Pigeon (RIP). Before recording their first single for Sub Pop, the stunning "Don't Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear" (which sold through two pressings!) the trio hooked up with ex-Navies drummer Sean McGuinness who relocated to PA from DC.
Pissed Jeans offer Hope for Men, their new album on Sub Pop. It kicks off with "People Person," a frenetic, pounding rhythm over which Brad spews reverb and feedback like an aural Pollock while Matt mocks a shallow, handsome, glad-handing co-worker. It's one of two fast songs on the record. In the other, "I'm Turning Now," Dead Joe gets tubed before abruptly cutting back and morphing into Sabbath playing "Miserlou" just as the song's protagonist, one of the Straight World's "good people" gets fed-up with life's many little indignities and runs a long red light to make a well-deserved left turn.
Pissed Jeans take several turns on Hope for Men, weaving brutality, humor and pathos throughout. There's the heavy swing of "A Bad Wind" and "Fantasy World," the vintage Lubricated Goat-like rhythm of "Caught Licking Leather," and the riff-less excursion of "The Jogger." "Scrapbooking" provides the "We Will Fall" moment of the record. A sparse four note descending bass line anchors this atmospheric exposé of the dark underbelly of the world of crafts while Matt rolls around under the piano, alternately channeling Alan Vega and Sylvester the Cat. "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)" and "Secret Admirer" would be hits if we could cast off the crushing yoke of the Straight World, a shallow place where lightweight, semi-clever, indie pop is considered cutting edge. Fuck that. Hope for Men closes with "My Bed," an honest-to-God punk rock epic. Clocking in at 8 minutes, the first half wouldn't sound out of place on side 2 of My War; the second half sounds like a rolling, no-holds-barred battle royal. By the time the last squall of feedback dies away, it's clear that the last band standing in this bout is Pissed Jeans.
Pissed Jeans went deep cover in the Straight World before sequestering themselves with Dan McKinney (of the Original Sins!) in his geodesic studio (appropriately enough, called Dan's House) and emerged with Hope for Men. This, their second album, their first full-length on Sub Pop, is one of the best punk albums in decades. Pissed Jeans play heavy and loose post-hardcore sludge that follows the holy tradition of the four noble Fs: feedtime, Flipper, 'Flag, and fuck it. Hope for Men delivers a piledriver to the Straight World and a folding chair to the face of the Indie Effete.
Addendum: Since the recording of Hope for Men, Dave Rosenstraus, who'd been converting cars to run on vegetable oil as a sideline, left the band to pursue diesel mechanic school and open his own shop. Replacing Dave is old pal Randy Huth, former Pearls & Brass guitarist. Coincidentally, everyone, except drummer Sean, has known each other since middle school and played in the Gate Crashers, the band that, after an instrument swap, became Pissed Jeans.
For fans of Rocket From The Crypt, Bruce Springsteen & The Replacements.
Up from the trenches of the Jersey Shore, The Everymen conjure punk rock of a non-era, like the soundtrack to a '62 acid frat party.
Bikers and beauty queens, sluts and delinquents, pretty girls and sissy boys, junkies and lovers, fools and fantastics. It's a traveling freak revue, a psychedelic soul sensation and we're all Everymen. So wax up that sax and rev up that Hemi, let's take a ride baby, let's take a ride.
The Everymen are Mike V on rhythm axe and lead thunder, Catherine Herrick on the sexy croon and broken tambourine, The Connecticut Kid with the flaming guitar, The Zillitones Scott and Jamie on honking horns and 4-stringed guitar, The White Tygah on keys, Four On The Floor Fiedler and The Zen Master on drums.
"It turned out to be the best rock show I’ve seen in a long time. This New Jersey band will forever be cemented in my memory bank." - WKNC.org
"The highlight of (Hopscotch Festival) was most definitely the discovery of an absolutely wonderful live act. The Everymen packed out Slim's back porch despite the beating sun and rocked harder than anyone I saw on Friday (including Valient Thorr)." - The Bottom String
"Sloppy-sentimental, sax-fueled Garden State punks the Everymen, headlining at soon-to-close Maxwell's tonight, come off like a cross between the E Street Band and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones." - Time Out NY
The Everymen are anything but ordinary." - Jersey Beat
RICHARD BACCHUS & THE LUCKIEST GIRLS Former D Generation guitarist Richard Bacchus has a healthy respect for the Bowery-bred bite of old-school punk. His ringing Thunders-style guitar has a patina of grime, and the songs have a chunky power that recalls hooky, hard-rock mavens Cheap Trick.
—Chris Parker, Independent Weekly
The Pour House Music Hall
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